Measuring the creation of sustainable employment in Somalia

Measuring the creation of sustainable employment in Somalia

Measuring the creation of sustainable employment in Somalia

Case | Policy Advisory

Situation

Since 2001, the Somali private sector has grown steadily thanks to improved security and increasing stability. As such, agricultural activities and trade have developed significantly, although businesses are often informal with structures based on family and clan (World Bank, Unemployment rate (%) Somalia, 2018).

However, despite this progress and according to the International Organization of Migration (IOM), tens of thousands of people leave Somalia/Somaliland every year, and 60% of young people consider migrating because of youth unemployment – estimated at 25% in 2019 (World Bank Data, Youth Unemployment Rate for Somalia, 2019) – and lack of job prospects (IOM, Somalia, 2017).

In this context, SPARK, a Dutch NGO focused on creating jobs for young people in fragile states, has implemented the Local Employment in Africa for Development (LEAD) program seeking to improve employment opportunities for youth by supporting entrepreneurship and helping create sustainable jobs.

The LEAD program has been focused on activities in Libya, Somalia, and Tunisia aimed at underpinning the human potential of local youth to reduce migration and radicalization in the countries.

Voluntas Impact

To document results of the LEAD program in Somalia, Voluntas Policy Advisory helped SPARK estimate impact of activities in terms of job creation.

This was done by tracing the number of sustainable jobs created thanks to activities in Hargeisa, Mogadishu, Garowe and Borama. At Voluntas Policy Advisory, we also evaluated the feasible means for job verification taking into consideration the Somali context.

To do this, Voluntas Policy Advisory carried out phone surveys with beneficiaries of LEAD activities, and key informant interviews with partners. Through this data collection, it was possible to quantitatively estimate new jobs created by business owners, and new job opportunities identified for job seekers – both formal and informal.

As a result, SPARK is now able to build future job creation activities on fact-based recommendations for the most efficient and effective practices in the Somali context.

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Can a Strategic Narrative save lives?

Can a Strategic Narrative save lives?

Probably not. But Bruhn NewTech can. Operating within the field of Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) defense, they provide software solutions to increase the number of people protected from airborne threats.

Political Economy Analysis of the Tunisian Water Sector

Political Economy Analysis of the Tunisian Water Sector

Political Economy Analysis of the Tunisian Water Sector

Case | Policy Advisory

Situation

The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) is a US Government agency that provides countries with large-scale grants to fund country-led solutions for reducing poverty through sustainable economic growth.

Tunisia, like other countries in the North Africa region, suffers from high water scarcity and impact of climate change will further exacerbate the situation. Agriculture is using around 80% of available water resources, so increasing the efficiency of water usage and improving water governance in agriculture is important to ensure long-term water and food security, and sustainability of the agricultural sector.

Therefore, MCC is currently developing a five-year compact in collaboration with the Tunisian Government, aimed at improving the general business climate and the management of water resources in agriculture in the country.

Voluntas Impact

MCC asked Voluntas Policy Advisory to conduct an in-depth institutional review and political economy analysis of the water sector in Tunisia with the aim of assessing the potential scope and viability of policy and institutional reforms.

In doing so, Voluntas Policy Advisory contributed to a better understanding of the context in which the proposed MCC-supported water program will operate and identified entry points for and possible coalitions to advance change and address key risks. Voluntas Policy Advisory was commissioned to:

  • provide an analysis of the political economy of decision-making in water-management
  • assess and provide recommendations about how MCC’s investments might support the nascent decentralization of water management
  • provide an assessment of the viability of a pricing reform of water for agriculture.

Voluntas Policy Advisory conducted an in-depth review of relevant literature, case studies, the legal and institutional framework and relevant sector strategies. The analysis was further informed through more than 20 Key Informant Interviews at national, regional and local level with representatives of the government, civil society, academia, water sector experts and relevant donors active in the sector.

Voluntas Policy Advisory will now provide additional support to MCC on specific insights identified during the initial analysis.

The foregoing information should not be construed as an express or implied endorsement of Voluntas by Millennium Challenge Corporation or the United States Government.

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Monitoring and evaluating job creation and entrepreneurship in the Maghreb region

Monitoring and evaluating job creation and entrepreneurship in the Maghreb region

Monitoring and evaluating job creation and entrepreneurship in the Maghreb region

Case | Policy Advisory

Situation

Entrepreneurship can make an important contribution to sustainable development as it is critical for job creation and can help expand opportunities for socially disadvantages groups – particularly women and youth. The Maghreb region has seen high youth unemployment for years, with unemployment rates of young people aged between 15 and 24 years ranging between 30.8% and 42% in 2019.

Hivos, an international organization that was founded in the Netherlands, has been working with co-working spaces in the Maghreb region (Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria and Libya) for several years.

In 2016, Hivos launched the “Co-Working for Sustainable Employment” program in collaboration with Mercy Corps Tunisia and other regional partners aimed to drive job creation and entrepreneurship in the Maghreb, with an emphasis on youth empowerment and particularly female entrepreneurship. It has supported a total of 33 co-working spaces and forged partnerships with different local organizations.

Specifically, the initiative aimed to contribute to the creation of 4,000 job opportunities for youth between 15 and 35 years – in particular young women and in medium-sized towns. The program was supported by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and is nested within their “Local Employment in Africa for Development“ (LEAD) program of preventing brain drain, irregular migration and radicalization by providing opportunities for young people.

Voluntas Impact

Voluntas Policy Advisory was asked by Hivos to conduct an evaluation of their “Co-Working for Sustainable Employment” program along the OECD-DAC criteria.

The evaluation aimed to assess the relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, sustainability and impact of the program, and to learn from the experience for future programming.

Furthermore, based on the results of the evaluation, Voluntas Policy Advisory advised Hivos on building a robust Monitoring and Evaluation framework for an extension of the program.

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Supporting Decentralization in Libya

Supporting Decentralization in Libya

Supporting Decentralization in Libya

Case | Policy Advisory

Libya is currently witnessing an increased escalation in fighting as General Haftar commanded of the so-called Libyan National Army is trying to take control of Tripoli from the internationally recognized Government of National Accord. Our Principal Alexander Kjaerum weighted in on the developments for Danish Radio P1 Orientering discussing the prospects and role of foreign powers and UN.

Our Principal at Voluntās Policy Advisory, Alexander Kjærum, was invited to  ‘P1 Orientering’ on Danmarks Radio to speak about the recent escalation in fighting in Libya, the role of foreign powers in Libya, UN and General Haftar. You can listen to it by clicking the image.

One option in focus by the international community is further decentralization of power, enhancing power at the municipal level to generate trust in public governance institutions. In 2012, Law no. 59 ‘Concerning the Local Administration System’ laid the foundation for decentralization determining the relationship between local and national level institutions. The implementation of this law has however not been very successful so far as there is still a lack of clarify on roles and responsibilities of different government actors, gap between the law and the actual governance system, as well as external constraints such as insecurity and limited funding.

Voluntas has been hired to carry out a political economy analysis to assess the challenges, risks, limitations, and opportunities of decentralization programming. To this end, Voluntas designed an analytical framework to investigate the dynamics of power, economic and social forces influencing development, and how prospective interventions may interact with these dynamics.

Our Head of Tunis Office, traveled to Libya and conducted +15 interviews and 3 FGDs with mayors, political leaders, civil society, expert and representatives from international organization. Furthermore more than 30 reports and publications on decentralization, Libya, and local governance were reviewed to identify trends and knowledge gaps Based on the data collected and desk-review of other material, we provided the client with a report laying out pathways for reform and programming despite the contextual challenges.

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Can a Strategic Narrative save lives?

Can a Strategic Narrative save lives?

Can a Strategic Narrative save lives?

Advisory | Case

Bruhn NewTech

Probably not. But Bruhn NewTech can. Operating within the field of Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) defense, they provide software solutions to increase the number of people protected from airborne threats. In a market dominated by advanced terminologies and complex solutions, Bruhn NewTech revitalized their purpose and narrative to enhance understanding and increase engagement among key stakeholders, serving their course of becoming the subject matter expert within the field of CBRN.

Technology will become commodities – narratives will ensure distinctiveness

Companies operating with a clear and driving sense of purpose outperformed the S&P 500 by a factor of 10 between 1996 and 2011. The power of purpose can expand business opportunities and increase motivation among employees, if the purpose is well embedded in a strategic narrative that unites the understanding of the past, acknowledge the present, and compel a visionary future. Through questionnaires, interviews and workshops among employees a strategic narrative has been developed ensuring a coherent and distinctive positioning of Bruhn NewTech.

Increase the number of people protected from airborne threats

– Purpose of Bruhn NewTech’s existence

”We are software developers – but we are not in the business of making technological components or software for CBRN protection. We are in the business of saving human beings. Therefore, our purpose and the reason why we exist is to increase the number of people protected from airborne threats,” states Kristoffer Basse, Executive Chairman at Bruhn NewTech.

Increasing the visibility of the purpose and the embedment in the company, each project and solution is being calculated in terms of the contribution it makes to the number of people protected. Each life-saving solution implemented is therefore providing a clear contribution to the total number of people protected, which is the guiding star for Bruhn NewTech.

The purpose has been embedded and unfolded in a strategic narrative creating a shared understanding of the past, a reason for the work they are doing today, and a compelling vision for the future. All for the benefit of the human beings working in the company and the external relations.

 

 

Anchoring the narrative in stakeholder management

The purpose statement and the defined narrative has been anchored internally and externally across stakeholder groups. A large part of the involvement between Voluntās and Bruhn NewTech has circled around the external activation towards journalists, politicians, experts and institutions. Aligning product marketing, managing external relations, producing communications material and arranging events are all done from the foundation of the strategic narrative, ensuring a coherent identity throughout every touch point. In other words, the narrative has reinforced and aligned daily behavior with the larger purpose of Bruhn NewTech.

“We have a clear understanding of each of our external stakeholder groups. They are all met with the same story, but the engagement with each stakeholder group is intended to serve different needs. We want to be the go-to-source number one among journalists when a CBRN-expert is needed and become a trusted advisor among politicians to influence policies, but the strategic narrative is still the common foundation ensuring a coherent and distinctive positioning,” says Kristoffer Basse.

Important questions to ask yourself as a company

  • Why do we exist and how do we matter in the world?
  • What is our core cultural and commercial DNA?
  • Who are we and what are our virtues?
  • What is our vision and where are we going?

The CEO of Bruhn NewTech, Erik Juel Ellinghaus, making a demo of their life saving software solution for the Danish Minister of Defence, Claus Hjort Frederiksen.

Disciplined storytelling increase business opportunities

It requires a disciplined effort anchoring and conceptualizing the narrative in the everyday life of the company. Leaders are very important in the embodiment and extension of the narrative, ensuring that it is continuously interpreted and translated into all corners of the organization.

The strategic narrative has given us a common level of understanding of this 25-year-old company and a compelling direction and vision for the future to come, in a way that has made our products and services simpler to understand and easier to relate to,” says Kristoffer Basse.

Whether present in the media, in dialogue with politicians, cooperating with experts or institutions the disciplined storytelling potentially leads to increased business opportunities. With a purpose beyond profit and a clear narrative the customers gain a reason to believe and can better relate to Bruhn NewTech.

The cooperative relation between Voluntās and Bruhn NewTech is an ongoing journey to ensure the acceptance as the subject matter expert within the field of CBRN across stakeholder groups – all anchored in a purpose beyond profit. From conflict zones in the Middle East to sports venues and train-stations in the Western world, Bruhn NewTech will continuously work to increase the number of people protected from chemical terror and nuclear incidents. One human life at a time.

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Can a Strategic Narrative save lives?

Can a Strategic Narrative save lives?

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The worlds first meaningfulness survey in a public setting

The worlds first meaningfulness survey in a public setting

The worlds first meaningfulness survey in a public setting

Advisory | Case

Horsens Municipality

Investigating the degree of meaning

In Voluntas, we are convinced that focusing on the meaningfulness, people experience in their life, is the key to finding ways to bringing about a fundamental change to the way we lead and realize human potential.

As such, we do not believe that it makes sense to measure employee-satisfaction and/or engagement, as done today in many organizations around the world. Rather, we believe that modern organizations should measure the degree of meaning employees find in their work. Studies show that sense of purpose, leadership, belonging and personal growth drive a greater meaning in the workplace and positively impact employees’ sense of quality of life and motivation. Furthermore, people who find their work meaningful are not only more engaged, they are also more productive and more likely to stay with the organization.

Inspired by a presentation by Morten Albæk, the creator of Voluntas, Horsens Municipality’s department for ‘Handicap, Psychiatry and Socially Vulnerable’ (HPS) was curious to investigate the degree of meaning their employees experience in their work. They therefore invited us to conduct a meaningfulness survey in HPS.

 

The mission of HPS’ employees is to support citizens who are psycho-logically, physically, and/or socially challenged, in activating their potential and living their lives in accordance with their individual needs, dreams, hopes and goals.

Becoming even better at leading and realizing human potential.

A meaningfulness survey is designed to provide a Meaningfulness Quotient (MQ), indicating the degree of meaning that employees find in their work on a scale of 1-5. The design was customized to HPS terminology and subsequently sent to almost 500 employees.

The MQ of HPS was then derived from an analysis of the four drivers, which covered a total of 24 questions. The MQ-questions differ in many ways from a typical satisfaction survey. For example, instead of asking “is the immediate manager good at planning your work?”, employees are asked “do you experience that your manager leads according to the purpose?”

In addition to the survey, Voluntas facilitated a management workshop with 25 managers from HPS. They participated actively in discussing possible initiatives to improve the Meaningfulness Quotient (MQ) and the role of management in creating a framework that facilitates deeper and more existential dialogue between managers and employees. The purpose of this initiative was clear: Becoming even better at leading and realizing human potential.

 

Human beings who deserve to live their lives as meaningful as possible

Overall, valuable insights were gained, and a fact-based platform was created, from which individual sections and managers in HPS can speak openly and honestly about strengths, challenges and potentials.

Head of HPS, Cate Kristiansen comments: “Voluntas has not only given us insights into the current level of meaningfulness among employees, but also helped us working with a holistic focus on our employees as human beings who deserve to live their lives as meaningful as possible”.

And HPS’ ambitions do not stop there. Cate Kristiansen’s dream is to develop a meaningfulness survey in collaboration with Voluntas, applicable to the citizens who come in contact with HPS.

In conclusion, HPS in Horsens Municipality, are ground-breaking pioneers, taking the first steps to fundamentally change the way human potential is led and realized.

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Can a Strategic Narrative save lives?

Can a Strategic Narrative save lives?

Probably not. But Bruhn NewTech can. Operating within the field of Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) defense, they provide software solutions to increase the number of people protected from airborne threats.